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The Department of Justice reports that an automotive parts manufacturer based in Japan has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $12 million criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to fix prices, rig bids, and allocate customers for automotive steel tube incorporated into vehicles sold in the U.S. and elsewhere. Automotive steel tubes are used in fuel distribution, braking, and other automotive systems and are sometimes divided into two categories – chassis tubes and engine parts. Chassis tubes such as brake and fuel tubes tend to be located in the body of a vehicle, while engine parts such as fuel injection rails, oil level tubes, and oil strainer tubes are associated with the function of a vehicle’s engine.
The company has also agreed to cooperate with the DOJ’s ongoing antitrust investigation into price fixing, bid rigging, and other anticompetitive conduct in the auto parts industry. A total of 46 companies and 32 executives have now been convicted in this investigation and have agreed to pay a total of more than $2.9 billion in criminal fines.